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688 posts

Ultimate Geek

#228536 10-Jan-2018 16:04
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Hi guys, I'm hoping you can help me out with a dispute:


  • How long do you think a phone should last?

or more specifically:


  • How often should you reasonably be expected to replace a mobile phone?

By way of example, my iPhone 4 lasted at least 5 years (3 years with me, 2 with my dad) and was only sold after we both upgraded.  My Nexus 5 lasted 2.5 years before I upgraded - due to a broken/defective microphone.  I still use that phone (now 4 years old) as a backup for GPS / Running / Movies etc. and it still runs great.


Phones are typically sold on a 24 month payment contract, so I would have though it reasonable to argue that they should be able to last at least 3 years before needing replacement.  I am very interested in your thoughts!

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332 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1935712 10-Jan-2018 16:15
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It's reasonable to expect a mobile phone to last 3 years according to  (site under maintenance at the moment but could find it on google cache)

1522 posts

Uber Geek

  #1935717 10-Jan-2018 16:27
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It depends on the phone: a premium flagship phone - an iPhone X or Sammy Note 8 would be expected to last longer than a $300 mid/low range android.


We use the Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime, and expect it to last about 2 years. On average that has proven about right for phones in that price bracket ($3-400) for our user base (200ish). If we were paying c$1000 for phones, we'd expect them to last 3+ years.


4628 posts

Uber Geek


  #1935803 10-Jan-2018 19:16
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I usually replace my iPhone every two years, but would expect to be able to give it someone else to use for a further two years. So, I would say four years excluding the battery.


Note that I am stating what I subjectively feel to be reasonable - this is not a legal opinion.

3284 posts

Uber Geek

  #1935815 10-Jan-2018 19:53
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Still using an iPhone 5 here at work and still going fine.
Just had to replace the battery in it.
One of my techs still has his iPhone 3GS, as a backup, and it is still going great.
Sold my sister my iPhone 6 and she doesn’t have any issues with it.
Will probably do the battery in that for her now that Apple have dropped the price.

Expected Life is going to depend on usage and how you take care of it.

4401 posts

Uber Geek


  #1935841 10-Jan-2018 20:47
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Apart from a hammer or a squash racket, I'm not sure I can think of anything that has quite as hard a life as some phones. Perhaps brake pads or a non-stick frypan in a flat of all male students.


My point of course is that it's crystal ball gazing to try and figure out how long "a phone" should last. A friend of mine works in IT and she manages the mobile phones for all their staff from CEO to the forklift drivers. Some of the people there go through 2/3 phones a year (losing, breaking, running over, dropping in the ocean, sitting on and bending etc)


Obviously there are some guidelines in the market, it's my personal view they are all pretty much made up.


Cheers -N





Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.

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